Biography and CV

Welcome to my website. I commenced watercolour painting in 1991 having just retired from a professional career as a secondary school full time music teacher. At the time I considered painting a hobby, although a serious one which was mostly developed through extensive reading and practice. I was still heavily involved in music and apart from playing the piano for hours every day, I also wrote a number of chamber works and half completed an opera which I hope to give birth to before I run out of time in this particular body!  I attended  classes in watercolour with David Taylor and Malcolm Beattie for a term each, and attended workshops with Margaret Cowling and Joseph Zbukvic. I successfully exhibited at the Victorian Artists Society and at various exhibitions on the Mornington Peninsula. I also began a passionate involvement in life drawing, mostly with much loved artist and teacher Patrick Moss at Linden Art Gallery. I attribute most of my visual comprehension to Patrick's tuition. His phrase 'feel the form' remains as a guideline for all my figurative works, whether drawn from real life or from the imagination. In the early 2000, I relocated to the Mornington Peninsula. I had found watercolour rather limiting at this stage because not only did the size of the paintings increase, but also the desire to express my visual and intuitive response to the nature of existence through painting. The size of my work increased as well as a desire to experiment with form, shape and colour. In 2003 my daughter gave me some oil paints, brushes and a canvas, suggesting that I try a different medium. Thus began a passionate affair with the medium of oil painting. My paintings have developed in unexpected ways over the last twenty years from a rather surreal interpretation of plants here on the Peninsula - particularly the ti-tree- through to the fractured landscape which express the idea of a world that is far greater than the sum of its visual parts for each of us as individuals. I also have returned to watercolour in a very different way, experimenting with mixed media on synthetic paper. I hope you enjoy my website with its rather theatrical front page. If you'd like to ask me about my work or even just give me some feedback which is always good even if it is negative, please don't hesitate to fill out the contact page and I'll get back to you (well, if you seem nice anyway:). Thanks for your visit. For anyone who is interested, my ancestors on my mother's side were the Cohn Brothers who established the first lager brewery in Victoria while Mauritz and Jacob founded what is now know as the Bendigo Bank. Jacob was also actively involved in the formation of the Bendigo Art Gallery. I love to tell people that Ola Cohn's grandfather and my great-grandfather were brothers! See this  link if you're interested in following this tidbit of Australian history.

Artist's Statement:

I would consider myself a traditional artist in the sense that I seek to portray what the eye perceives rather than an impressionistic or expressionistic approach. Nevertheless, I have painted in a variety of styles over the years and would say I’ve finally settled into two areas of interest which consume me perennially– interpretive landscape and the human figure. My main genre is what I call “Fractured” landscape, a concept which originated from reading about relativity and quantum mechanics both in which I still remain relatively ignorant. However, the landscapes which are multilayered and include areas of space depicted by star-like shapes on an indigo background, are my expression of the idea that our perception is limited to our particular senses and we can only experience one facet of objects and ideas at any given point in time. The nearest historic reference I can make is the cubist works of Braque and Picasso where invisible planes become visible on a single plane. The figurative works require no explanation except to say that I love to draw and paint the human figure with a passion and only strive to make the images as beautiful as possible while remaining honest to the subject. I spend at least a whole day a week at life drawing sessions and usually a portrait session as well. I am currently working towards portraiture as an ongoing source of communication with other people and a source of income between exhibitions.


Group Exhibitions:

2017 Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors Annual Exhibition

2017 Peninsula Plein Air Painters, Sorrento Activities Centre

2016 Little Archies, Oakhill Gallery

2016 Group exhibition, Ryazanoff Gallery, Albert Park

2016 Members' Exhibition, Oakhill Gallery

2016 Mornington Life Drawing Group at Oak Hill

2015 Sorrento Activities Centre 9 x 5's Exhibition

2015 St. Kevins Annual Art Exhibition

2015 Bakers Gallery at Balnarring

2015 Peninsula Plein Air Artists at Sorrento Activities Centre

2014 Oakhill Gallery Members' Exhibition

2014 Mornington Life Drawing group Exhibition at Oakhill Gallery

2014 Camberwell Art Show

2014 Blairgowrie Yacht Club Easter Exhibition

2013 Oakhill Gallery Mornington Peninsula Pleinair Artists

2013 Studio Sorrento members' exhibition

2013 Studio Sorrento Alice in Wonderland Charity Exhibition

2013 Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron Easter Arts Show

2012 Studio Sorrento member's exhibition

2012 Camberwell Rotary Art Show

2012 Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron Easter Show (co-judged with Ludmilla Christoff)

2011 Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron Easter exhibition- assistant judge

2011 Studio Sorrento members' exhibition

2011 Flinders Art Show

2011 Rob McNamara select exhibition (f.i.e.l.d.), Collingwood Gallery

2010 Flinders Art Show

2010 Peninsula Art Exhibition, Rosebud Secondary College

2010 Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron Easter exhibition

2010 Temple of Illumination, Ringwood

2009-10 Represented by 775 Art and Craft at Red Hill

2009 Cancer Council select exhibition

2007 Sorrento Rotary Art Show

2006 Sorrento Rotary Art Show

2006 McClelland Guild annual exhibition

2005 Sorrento Rotary Art Show

2003 Sorrento Rotary Art Show

1991 Group exhibitions at the Victorian Artists' Society

Solo Exhibitions:

2017 Hawthorn Gallery and Studio

2017 Ryazanoff Gallery, Albert Park

2016 Mornington Library Foyer

2009 Brunswick Street Gallery, Fitzroy

2008 Whitehill Gallery, Dromana

2007 Frankston Arts Centre Curved Wall


2016 Little Archies, Oakhill Gallery, 1st Prize

2015 Little Archies, Oakhill Gallery, Highly Commended

2014 Oakhill Gallery Members' Exhibition - 1st Prize

2010 Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron Easter exhibition -  "Commodore's Prize"

2003 Sorrento Rotary Art Show -  "Highly Commended" for large watercolour


Joseph Brown Collection - "Grand Master"


Hawthorn Artists' Society

Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors

Mornington Peninsula Plein Air Painters

Mornington Life Drawing and Painting Group

Oakhill Gallery

Mornington Peninsula Arts Blog

Studio Sorrento